Your local reclaimed building materials store is a great place to get ideas for low-cost, eco-friendly home projects. By wandering around ReSource, the salvaged construction materials outlet in our community, we got inspired to refresh the very dated fireplace surround in our living room when we discovered 10 brand new tiles that were left over from a recent new home construction project in town – exactly the number we needed to redo the hearth. We also found a half-full carton of matching grout. The tiles cost $1 each, and ReSource charged us $2 for the grout.
I used some leftover adhesive from a previous tile job at home, and was able to leave the original red “kitchen tile” hearth in place underneath this new tile to achieve a good grade match with the new cork floor we had installed a few months prior. Lara had the great idea of using some of the remaining low VOC paint leftover from painting our living room walls to liven up the grungy brick-n-mortar portion of the fireplace wall and really accentuate the original woodwork on the upper wall. See pictures here.
For $14 out-of-pocket, we were able to move from a decidely dated mid-century look, to something much closer to mid-century modern. Moreover, we generated virtually no waste with our little project (just a few sliver cuts from the tile). And, we put to good use tiles, grout, adhesive and paint that might otherwise have gone to waste.
ReSource and your local reclaimed materials store are businesses whose primary mission is landfill diversion. Riverwired has some sobering statistics that speak to the importance of this mission. One critical data point – 136 million tons of construction waste and demolition debris are generated each year in the U.S. Obviously businesses that help us keep as much of this tonnage as possible out of the landfill have an important mission!
You’ll find the folks who work at reclaimed building materials outlets to be passionate about the environment, and full of creative ideas for reuse, recycling and upcycling (into furniture, art, greenhouses – even chicken coops) the building materials they salvage and stock. Check out our video tour of ReSource with Regional Manager Kendol Gustafson below as an example.
Finally, if you’re interested in remodeling with reclaimed materials, now might be a good time to subscribe to our blog, as we’ll be starting a series of posts shortly on an extensive reclaimed materials remodeling project that architect Justin Larson and his wife Sandra are doing at their home here in Ft. Collins.